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TRUFFLES always make a nice present and these ones can be dressed up to look like mini Christmas puddings.

INGREDIENTS: 125g dark chocolate; 75g unsalted butter; 200g Madeira cake (or loaf cake); 50g glace cherries, halved; 50g raisins; 25g pecans; 1/2tsp vanilla extract; 2tbsp icing sugar DECORATION 50g ready to use fondant icing; red and green food colour; 110g icing sugar or Tate & Lyle royal icing sugar; 1/2tsp meringue powder or dried egg white powder (supercook) - omit if using royal icing sugar; 4tsp water METHOD: MELT the butter and chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl over a saucepan of warm water or in a microwave using 15 second bursts and stirring between each burst. Set aside to cool.

Put the Madeira cake in a food processor and whizz to crumbs. Add the cherries, raisins and pecans and pulse until roughly chopped.

Tip the mixture into the bowl of chocolate and add the vanilla and icing sugar. Stir. Put the truffle mixture into the fridge for around one hour.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or clingfilm. Take tablespoonfuls of the truffle mixture and roll them into balls and place on the baking sheet. Put them in the fridge for an hour.

To decorate, colour a quarter of the fondant icing red and roll out 36 small balls. Colour the remaining fondant green, roll out thinly and cut out 36 holly leaves.

Put the icing sugar in a bowl (and stir in the egg white powder, if using). Add half of the water and stir in, then add extra water, a couple of drops at a time, to make a stiff icing. Drop half a teaspoon of icing on top of a truffle and use a cocktail stick or the tip of a knife to spread the icing out a little.

Allow to dry slightly, then sit two holly berries and leaves on the top of the truffle. Repeat with remaining truffles then return the truffles to the fridge and leave for three to four hours, or overnight. | | | Recipe by Annabel Karmel -

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 19, 2015
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